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What Is An Exchange Traded Fund and How It Works

Guest Article By Shashank Pawar

Investors seeking exposure to an index can consider ETF investing as an option. Exchange traded funds are one of the many types of mutual funds available today and gaining popularity among various kinds of investors. While you may be familiar with equity mutual funds, debt funds or balanced funds, ETFs are yet another class of mutual funds that function a bit differently. ETFs are mutual funds designed to mimic popular market indices like the Nifty 100, BSE 100, Sensex etc. These are passively managed funds that simply hold the stocks of the index they are supposed to mimic exactly in the same proportion as the index. Since the fund managers don’t take active calls in security selection by holding the same stocks as included in the index, these funds are passively managed.

Exchange traded funds are suitable for first-time investors who would like to test the waters and may not be comfortable with the higher risk associated with regular mutual funds.

There are several advantages of investing in an ETF. Firstly, being passively managed they make fewer transactions as compared to actively managed funds where the fund manager must constantly look for securities that can help him outperform the scheme’s benchmark. This leads to higher portfolio turnover resulting in higher tax incidence. Funds pay taxes like STT (Securities Transaction Tax) and capital gains tax while buying or selling securities within their portfolio. Thus, ETFs are more tax efficient and have lower costs arising out of fund management.

Secondly ETFs also usually have lower expense ratio compared to actively managed mutual funds which must employ highly skilled fund managers for generating active returns.

Thirdly ETFs offer more convenience and liquidity to investors since they are listed on exchanges and trade like stocks. Investors can transact in ETF funds any time during market hours at real-time prices unlike actively managed mutual funds where NAV is computed only once a day after the market closes.

ETFs offer better diversification since they carry all the securities listed in the index which are periodically rebalanced. But the reduced risk arising out of greater diversification in exchange-traded funds comes at the cost of possibly lower returns as compared to other mutual funds. Actively run mutual funds are more likely to earn a better return over the long-term than passively managed funds since the fund manager uses his expertise and takes active calls to buy better-performing stocks and sell underperforming stocks. But in the case of an ETF that mimics an index, all kinds of stocks are held including the underperformers.

ETF investors should consider funds with lower tracking error as a key performance indicator. Tracking error shows the deviation in return of a fund from its benchmark. Since these funds mimic their respective indices, tracking error should be close to zero. However, zero tracking error is impossible since it must buy or sell securities to align with the index whenever the index undergoes a rebalancing and hence must bear some transaction costs. However, indices have no such constraints. Investors keen on lower expense ratio and higher liquidity can consider including ETFs in their financial planning.

You can read more about ETF funds on Mutual Funds Sahi Hai, an investor education initiative by AMFI.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Shashank_Pawar/2571655

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Best Online Investment Account Info: Tips for Getting Started With an Online Broker and Trading

Guest Article By George Botwin

If you want to really get involved in stock investments, then it’s a good idea to hire a broker to help you create an account. Most people handle everything online these days. There are online brokers you can go through who often charge less than the traditional broker since they don’t have a physical office to maintain. Most people do all of their buying and selling online as well. How can you make sure that you choose the best online investment account?

Commissions are always a top priority for internet investors. You shouldn’t have any problems finding a brokerage firm that only charges a few dollars on a commission. What you really look for are the fees. Even if the commission is advertised as being very low, you could end up paying tons of money on fees. Transparency is essential in an online broker account. Some companies even may even try and charge you inactivity fees and maintenance fees.

You’ll always need versatility. Only choose a brokerage firm that offers a broad range of investment types, and not just stocks. Take the time to investigate your options with a particular broker. In addition to stocks, there should be different types of futures, bonds, EFTs, etc.

How to Start With the Best Online Investment Account

To start the best online investment account possible, you’ll need useful resources and tools to educate you and optimize your trading efficiency. More advanced users can take advantage of market scanners, EFT scanners, detailed macro-economic event calendars, bond scanners, and other tools and metrics that they can use on any public company in the world.

If you need help with your portfolio, look for tools that will assist you with portfolio management offered by online brokers. These types of tools can come with features such as automatic notifications for when it is time to rebalance your portfolio and “what-if” analysis for each trade you are considering.

Go mobile, if possible. That way, you’ll have 24/7 access to your portfolio, accounts, and all of the tools you use at your disposal, no matter where you are. The best brokerage companies will offer a workstation that is available via app and web. Ideally, the app should have a lot of positive reviews, be updated frequently, provide time-delayed intra-day quotes, the option to add certain stocks to your “watchlist”, and more.

How can you create the best online investment account possible? As you start to educate yourself more and get the hang of the basics, you might want to turn towards Zacks Trade. This platform is a very affordable alternative than outright hiring a traditional broker. It comes with plenty of useful tools, apps, resources, and a fully-featured workstation.

To get closer to financial freedom, visit George’s website: https://www.financiallygenius.com/zacks-trade/

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/George_Botwin/1425000

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Which Mutual Fund Calculator Should You Use?

Guest Article By Bhagath Varma

There is no dearth of financial calculators available on the internet and sometimes novice investors get baffled by the sheer number of calculator links that come up for a simple search query like ‘goal sip calculator’ or ‘goal calculators’. How does then one choose the calculator that will precisely provide an answer to what the investor was looking for in the first place?

There are many calculators available on the internet that can help you find answers to some of your financial planning queries. But here is a list of the basic must-try calculators that everyone should try because these will help you understand the need for a financial plan in the first place and how should you start working towards your financial goals in life.

  1. Inflation Calculator
  2. Goal SIP Calculator
  3. SIP Calculator

If you are one of those smart investors who has already started planning for his/her life goals and have a few SIPs in place, this calculator is the one for you. It’ll tell you the future value of your SIPs and you can compare that with what the inflation calculator gives you. If the future value of your SIP comes out to be more than what the inflation calculator gave you for the same goal, you are really smart! But if the future value given by the SIP calculator turns out to be lower than what the inflation calculator shows, you really need to step-up your SIP now else you will be staring at a shortfall when the time to fulfil your goal comes.

These calculators are all that one needs to take stock of things at present and build a sound financial plan for the future. Once the plan is ready you need to act upon it with earnest. There’s an informative site by the name Mutual Funds Sahi Hai that can help you understand mutual funds better and guide you to build a good investment plan for your future.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Bhagath_Varma/2540404

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The Need for Discipline in the Stock Market

Guest Article By Dr. Winton M. Felt

Good trading rules are important. However, even those who concoct great rules tend not to follow them. Most people lack the consistency necessary to stick to those rules even when things are going badly.

Make the decision. Will you be consistent in following your rules or not? Most people who invest or trade never make the decision. It is almost impossible to be a consistent winner in the stock market without the consistent application of good decision rules. Think about how the market reacts to news events. A new jobs report is released by the government that shows more people are jobless. Immediately, the market plunges. The debt of a foreign country is downgraded and panic hits the market. Stocks plunge in many sectors. What is going on here? Just as an EKG can tell a cardiologist some things about a person’s heart function, so we can consider the market to be connected to the nervous system of millions of investors.

There is a stimulus and a response. Depending on the nature of the stimulus, the response is reasonably predictable. The market reflects emotional states of the population. In order to profit in the stock market, it is necessary to avoid thinking like the rest of the population. When the population pushes the market down in a fit of panic selling, the negative attitude about owning stocks is at a peak. However, that is precisely the time when people should be most positive about owning stocks. The individual investor tends to feel the same way the population as a whole feels. To follow a set of rules with consistency, therefore, is difficult. It often forces a person to act contrary to his emotions.

Assume, for example, that you have just bought a stock with a fantastic story. Blixis Company (BLIX) has just discovered a permanent cure for the common cold and has patent rights to the serum. The stock is at $10 a share and you note that it has been closely following a rising trendline. You buy it for $10 when it is right on the trendline. You believe this stock is likely to go to at least $100 and that it will probably split several times before it stops climbing. After a week, the stock is at $15 and it is still moving along the trendline. One day you happen to be looking at the chart of this stock and you notice that it has fallen below the trendline. It is selling at $15 but the trendline is at 15.46. What do you do? Do you say to yourself that this is only a temporary bout of profit taking and decide to continue holding? Two days later the trendline is at $17 and the stock is still at $15. Do you tell yourself that “stocks fluctuate and you must give them room to do so” or do you sell? At $15, the stock is 11.76% below the trendline.

Most investors in this situation would keep holding. However, if you are still holding, then you must face the fact that you probably do not have a strategy at all. You have bought a “story stock” and you are psychologically locked into it because you believe in its story. A strategy consisting of a set of decision rules enables a person to draw a line in the sand and say “this is where I pull the plug.” The probability of a person coming out ahead in the scenario described above, without his adhering to the dictates of a good set of decision rules, is not great. What if the FDA insists on additional data before clearing the drug? The stock would then plummet. It could take a year or more to acquire sufficient data to satisfy the FDA. What if while you are waiting another company comes up with a cure that is based on a slightly different process that will enable the company to manufacture its drug more cheaply than Blixis Company can manufacture its drug? If that were to happen, BLIX would probably plunge and you would still be holding the stock.

A consistent rule-following strategic investor times his purchase so he can buy when risk of further decline is minimal. He never becomes married to a stock. Finally, he always has an exit strategy, because unexpected bad things happen. In fact, these are the broad principles followed by stockdisciplines trader/investors. Beyond these general concepts, an investor/trader should have specific well-defined rules for buying and selling. For every buyer, there is a seller. One is more likely to make money on a transaction, and the other is more likely to lose money on the same transaction. Without strictly adhering to a sound strategy, guess which one you are most likely to be.

Copyright 2018, by Stock Disciplines, LLC. a.k.a. StockDisciplines.com

Dr. Felt has market reviews, stock alerts, and free tutorials at https://www.stockdisciplines.com Information and tools for computing stop losses are also at https://www.stockdisciplines.com

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Dr._Winton_M._Felt/190829

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Smart Ways to Invest: A Quick Overview of Some of the Smartest Things You Can Do With Money

Guest Article By George Botwin

Do you suddenly find yourself with a bit of money and want to know about some smart ways to invest? How can you best put that money to good use? The most important thing to do – if you haven’t already done so – is to pay off your debts. Get that out of the way. If you still have debts when you invest, any interest you might earn from the investment will just equal out the interest you’ll have to pay on the debts. Holding onto debt might even be more costly than any profit you might make from investments.

Once you’re all clear with debts, then you can consider making smart investments. Investment bonds are usually considered a good idea for those who are afraid of taking on too much risk. The potential for returns is quite lower than those of stocks, but you will still get some interest over time, whether you invest in US government bonds or foreign bonds. Just do the right research first to find out which foreign bonds are likely to be the most profitable over the next decade.

Learn about the different types of mutual funds and decide if they are smart ways to invest for you. They are categorized by asset class: cash, bonds, and stocks, and then further categorized by objective, strategy, or style, such as stock mutual funds, money market mutual funds, and so forth. The downside to mutual funds is lack of ownership. The investor actually doesn’t own the individual stock, and therefore lacks perks such as voting rights.

Smart Ways to Invest With Diversification

While you don’t have to put all of your money in a single bank account, it’s still considered wise by many people to open up a Certificate of Deposit account with a reputable online bank that offers a high APY – even higher than a regular savings account. The drawback? You have to agree to let your money stay in the bank for a certain period of time and won’t be allowed to withdraw any of it prior to that time without getting penalized.

Dividend-paying stocks can be among the smart ways to invest for intermediate and advanced investors. Dividends are a portion of a company’s profit that are paid out to shareholders (usually quarterly). If you own a dividend stock, you can earn cash in the short term as well as the investment itself through market appreciate during the long-term.

As for the smart ways to invest in individual stocks and a few other opportunities, it’s best to join a group of insiders where you will get picks from the true professionals and experts. Having access to high-quality investment analysis, such as that offered by Capitalist Exploits, is a great way to gain an edge in investing.

To get closer to financial freedom, visit George’s website: https://www.financiallygenius.com/capitalist-exploits/

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/George_Botwin/1425000

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Using the Best Stock Indicators for Your Trades and Investments

Guest Article By Joanne Cooper

Market volatility and insecure trades and investments are a continuing highlight. As many traders and investors learned this year, when bullish markets and record highs are trending, it may lead to an instant pullback. If you don’t want to get caught by surprise with the downtrends, then it is important to use the best stock indicators. This will help you to reduce your risk while allowing your portfolio to benefit from analytical additions.

The market will always move up and then down, causing many to lose money or to gain profitability. The difference in the trades and investments is not how the market is moving; it is how one approaches their portfolio. A winning game, based on the ability to strategically position your moves in the market, easily helps you to build the proper reputation for trades and investments. The best stock indicators can assist you with the positioning you need.

Analytical tools are the first forms of indicators that you need. These look at the patterns and trends in the market. They identify the data, including price, volume and time that it takes for a market to turn. It also looks at the quantitative information over a certain time. You will be able to define the data and how it is moving as well as how each day relates to the next, forming patterns that predict when a change will happen. You want to look at how each is functioning independently in the market. It is also important to define how each correlates with others, specifically to identify how other stocks are impacting your trades and investments.

The best stock indicators also offer predictive data. These are offered so you can strategically move in the market. The predictions include an analysis of the data as well as the expectations of how the market will move. While most focus on real – time statistics, newer technologies define the probability of turn in the market before it happens. These offer a different approach to the stocks you are investing in, allowing you to find strategic positions, no matter which way the market is turning.

Protecting your profitability is important for every trader and investor. Using the best stock indicators helps you to identify moves in the market and to find a strategic position based on the analytics that you use. By adding together different trends, patterns and data, you will easily be able to find the best way to move in the market.

Using the best stock indicators reduces market volatility. BluSignals provides forward thinking tools that are able to predict changes in the market before they happen. Determining trends and buy / sell signals guides trades and investments to strategic positioning.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Joanne_Cooper/2456865

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Harnessing Stock Market Volatility

Guest Article By Steve Selengut

If you were to Google “stock market volatility”, you would find a wide range of observations, conversations, reports, analyses, recipes, critiques, predictions, alarms, and causal confusion. Books have been written; indices and measuring tools have been created; rationales and conclusions have been proffered. Yet, the volatility remains.

Statisticians, economists, regulators, politicians, and Wall Street gurus have addressed the volatility issue in one manner or another. In fact, each day’s gyrations are explained, reported upon, recorded for later expert analysis, and head scratched about.

The only question I continue to have about all this comical hubbub is why don’t y’all just relax and enjoy it? If you own only high quality income generating securities, diversify properly, and adopt a disciplined profit-taking routine, you can make stock market volatility your very best friend (VBF).

Decades ago, a nameless statistics professor brought me out of a semi-comatose state with an observation about statisticians, politicians, and economists. “In the real world”, he said, “there are liars, damn liars, and any member of the groups just mentioned”. An economist or a politician, armed with a battery of statistics, is an ominous force indeed.

Well, now, all economists and statisticians have high powered computers and the ability to analyze volatility with the same degree of certainty (or is it arrogance) that they have developed with regard to individual-stock risk analysis, economic and geographical sector correlation dynamics, and future prediction in general.

  • But the volatility (and the uncertainty it either causes or results from, depending upon the expert you listen to) persists.

Modern computers are so powerful, in fact, that economists and statisticians can now calculate the investment prospects of just about anything. So rich in statistics are these masters of probabilities, alphas, betas, correlation coefficients, and standard deviations, that the financial world itself has become, mundane, boring, and easy to deal with. Yeah, sure it has.

Since they can predict the future with such a high degree of probability, and hedge against any uncertainty with yet another high degree of probability, why then is the financial world in such a chronic state of upheaval? And why-o-why does the volatility, and the uncertainty, continue?

I expect that you are expecting an opinion (yet another opinion) on why the volatility is as pronounced as it seems to be compared with years past. Frankly, Scarlett, I can’t really make myself give a damn. The uncertainty that we are asked to believe is caused by volatility just simply is not. Uncertainty is the regulation playing field of the investment game… and of life, actually.

The more you invest in higher risk securities, the more you speculate on future directional change, the more you ignore growing income, and focus only on market value, the more uncertain your investment environment becomes. So risk, speculation, poor diversification, low income generation, and up only market value expectations combine to exacerbate uncertainty, but nothing can eliminate it… only that is certain.

Volatility, on the other hand is simply a force of nature, one that needs to be embraced and dealt with constructively if one is to succeed as an investor.

But this machine driven, hyper-volatility that we have been experiencing recently, has been magnified by the darkest forces of the “dismal science” and the changes that it has encouraged in the way financial professionals view the makeup of the modern investment portfolio.

On the bright side, enhanced market volatility actually enhances the power of the equity and income security trading disciplines and strategies within the Market Cycle Investment Management ( MCIM ) methodology… an approach to market reality that embraces market turbulence, and harnesses market volatility for results that leave most professionals either speechless or in denial.

  • MCIM focuses on the highest quality equity securities and well diversified income security portfolios, creating a lower than normal risk environment where price fluctuations can be dealt with productively, without panic. Higher prices generate profit taking transactions; lower prices invite additional investment. The underlying quality, diversification, and income generation create a more tolerable “uncertainty quotient” than other methodologies.

But, with no statistical data necessary (or available) to support the following opinion, consider this simplistic rationale for the hyper-volatility of today’s stock market.

Volatility is a function of supply and demand for the common stock of a finite number of dirty, evil, greedy, polluting, congress corrupting, job creating, product and service providing, innovation and wealth developing, foundation supporting, gift giving, tax-collecting corporations.

Those of us who trade common stocks in general, Investment Grade Value Stocks in particular, owe a debt of gratitude to the real volatility creators: the hundreds of thousands of derivative products that bring an entirely speculative kind of indirect supply and demand to the securities markets.

Generally speaking, the fundamental, emotional, political, economic, global, environmental, and psychological forces that impact stock market prices have not changed significantly, if at all.

Short term market movements are just as unpredictable as they have ever been. They continue to cause the uncertainty you need to deal with, by using proven risk minimization techniques like asset allocation, diversification, and profit taking.

The key change agents, the new kids on the block, are the derivative betting mechanisms (Index ETFs, for example) and their impact on the finite number of shares available for trading. Every day on the stock exchange, thousands of equities are traded, a billion shares change hands. The average share is “held” for mere minutes. No one seems to we seek out analysts who spin tales of “fundamental” brilliance, profitability, or income production.

On top of derivative trading in real things such as sectors, countries, companies, commodities, and industries, we have a myriad of index betting devices, short-long parlor games, option strategies, etc. What’s a simple common share of Exxon to do? I’ve heard financial talk show hosts warn listeners to never, not ever, buy an individual equity!

  • Is today’s movement in any individual equity the result of demand for the company shares themselves, or demand for the multiple funds, indices, and other derivatives that track or include the company in their “model”? How many derivative owners have a clue what’s inside their ETF?

We are in an environment where investors feel smarter dealing in sectors than in companies; where 401k “retirement” plans (they really are not retirement plans, you know) are banned by regulators from offering even reasonably high yielding investment opportunities, and where government fiscal policies have forced millions of actual retirement savings accounts to seek refuge in the shark infested waters around Wall Street.

Market volatility is here to stay, at least until multi-level and multi-directional derivatives are relocated to the Las Vegas casinos where they belong, until regulators realize that 7% after higher expenses is better than 2% after minimal expenses, and until interest rates are allowed to return to somewhat normal levels… and this is what feels to some like an elevated level of uncertainty.

For the discernible future, we’ll need to find a way, a methodology, that makes both of them our VBFs.

My articles always describe aspects of an investment process I have been using since the 1970’s, as described in my book, “The Brainwashing of the American Investor”. All the disciplines, concepts, and processes described therein work together to produce (in my experience) a safer, more income productive, investment experience. No implementation should be undertaken without a complete understanding of all aspects of the process.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Steve_Selengut/12786

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